Reflections from a super sad Sunday in sports
Wow! Sunday doesn't get much worse than the last one. Only thing that could have made it worse was to get ptomaine poisoning from the ham and cheese sandwich.
A day with the Brewers leaving the playoffs and the Packers losing to the Falcons at home leaves a guy with a bad taste in his mouth, a crushing hangover and lots of questions and impressions.
1. The Aaron Rodgers Packers have now lost three in a row. I don't think it's Rodgers' fault. But, it is pretty clear to anyone with a pair of eyes that this is a much different football team than the one that was around last season. I think it comes down to the scare factor. The Packers had a quarterback who scared a lot of people last year. This year, they have a quarterback who doesn't scare anyone. Think what that does for opposing defensive coordinators.
2. The only playoff salvation was that the Brewers won one more game than the Cubs. The Brewers left the playoffs like wimps. Those big bats and clusters of runs all but disappeared during the most important time of the season. The Phillies, a slightly better than ordinary baseball team, looked like they were eons ahead of the Brewers. They pitched better, hit better and played better defense. Our guys, despite the brave talk, were wimps.
3. It seems like week after week Mike McCarthy talks about the failure of his team to execute the fundamentals of football. These are big-time athletes and you'd think the fundamentals are something they have with them all the time, not a pair of fine leather dress shoes they put on just for the dance. If McCarthy can't get his players to execute the fundamentals, that is, among other things, a coaching failure.
4. I don't know if I'm crazy or not, but I'd think about trading Prince Fielder. I know, everyone thinks he's a part of the core of this team. He hit 34 home runs last year. But 34 isn't that great when you hit 50 the year before. I'm not sure whether the stats bear this out or not, but my impression is that he doesn't have the kind of impact he should have. My guess is that Doug Melvin could get some pretty high-level pitching in a trade involving Fielder. Pitching. Very important, pitching.
5. One thing that seems to be happening to the Packers is that they are being manhandled at the point of attack. Out-muscled and out-hustled. Both McCarthy and Ted Thompson have said time and again that you win football games along the line, both offense and defense. It doesn't look like the Packers have the horses on their lines.
6. One of the identifying factors of the Mark Attanasio era has been a quick trigger. If something isn't working, make a change (see Yost, Ned). It might be time for the Brewers to pull the plug on Rickie Weeks. How many more articles are we going to have to read about his potential the day after a throw bounced off the heel of his glove?
7. In football, more than any sport, injuries happen. Good football teams take the injuries in stride, make adjustments and keep moving forward. Lousy football teams use injuries as an excuse and seem to be tied all in knots by the injury bug. Which one describes the Packers?
8. You can't help wondering if this last glorious couple of weeks was it for the Brewers. Somehow, you have to hope that Doug Melvin has some more rabbits in his hat. At the same time, this team doesn't have juggernaut tattooed on its forehead. It all seems so temporary. Almost like a wisp of smoke that floated across the horizon.
12 catchers in the NL had at least 300 ABs. Kendall's BA was 10th among them. from what i understand, though, he's great at handling the pitchers. that is reason enough to consider him your everyday catcher as long as the BA does not drop much further. however let's not kid ourselves about him getting a hit "every time".
I don't see a LOT of trading, but the checkbook will need to be opened in order to get some quality starting pitching in free agency if a move isn't made to address it via a trade. I don't see 92-100 losses, but could be below .500 and not in serious playoff contention in the final month. Again, hope for the best.
Hometown, Why do you think the brewers will be rebuilding? they were a playoff team this year and should contend next year. i realize they have some free agents leaving, but that is no different than any other team in the league. rebuilding is what they were doing 3-5 years ago. do you really see next year's team losing 92-100 games and trading their still-young nucleus for even younger prospects?
mikeb, i was at aprox 25 games as well this year, and Braun had no more problems than any other fielder (home or opponent) taking routes to the ball or otherwise. i was never once worried about a ball hit to left and would place Braun in the top 1/3 in baseball at his position defensively. now that's just my opinion, but i fail to see how anyone could make an argument that Braun was an "adventure" out there. it just seems to me you're trying to bolster your argument that Braun is hardly better than Fielder by unfairly maligning Braun's defensive play.
The Packers will be lucky to end up at 8-8 and more than likely will finish much worse. The Brewers will be rebuilding in 2009 and might take a year or two to get back into contention. Hope for all the best for both teams. BTW, Dave, glad to see you're still around.
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